Simple advice from a golf coach, suitable for any player. Lesson 7:

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This advice is nothing to do with playing a shot or even holding a club. It’s all about your own pace and your inner rhythm and tempo. Most players want a smooth swing with a delightful tempo. Yet a lot of players rush to the first tee, rush between shots and rush their pre-shot routine. The best way to check and control whether you’re rushing is to monitor your breathing. Throughout the round you want to be breathing slowly and in a relaxed manner. Imagine hitting shots on a practice ground and sprinting 20yards, turning round and sprinting back and hitting your next shot straight away. How difficult would it be to produce a smooth tempo on that swing, now imagine repeating the process ten or twenty times. It you be like trying to play a Chopin piano piece in the middle of a heavy metal concert. This is not to encourage slow play, as there are plenty of things you can be doing to keep moving around the course at a decent pace. Often the difference between feeling rushed and feeling relaxed and ready can just be a few seconds of calm breathing and relaxed focus. Try to keep your breathing and stay of relaxation as constant as you can throughout the round.

            As Walter Hagen said: ‘Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.’

Today’s lesson: To help the tempo of your swing, work on the tempo of your round, keeping relaxed and controlling your breathing throughout.

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